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VIDEO: CRISPR Technology and Its Potential to Transform Agriculture

November 15th, 2019 / FAO

Genetic tools like CRISPR can help reduce pesticide use, pollution and boost food production without employing more land and water, natural resources increasingly strained by the growing food demand of expanding populations in the developing world. View video of the panel …

VIDEO: ‘If I don’t farm, we won’t eat’: Kenyan farmer illustrates the impact of crop disease in Africa

November 7th, 2019

Steven Oruko Kasamani is a smallholder farmer in Mayoni, Kenya, growing corn, soybean, kale and tomato to support a family of nine. Consumers in the developed world read news stories about growers like Mr. Kasamani, but rarely do they get a firsthand-look at just how difficult it is to farm …

Microbes living in plant roots fight off fungal infection, cutting need for pesticides, study shows

November 7th, 2019

Micro-organisms living inside plant roots team up to boost the plant’s growth and tolerance to stress. An international research team led by the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) and Wageningen UR reports its discovery in …. the scientific journal Science.

Certain species of ‘resident’ bacteria can protect plant roots against fungal infections. …

Study shows bees on the farm may be more valuable than pesticides

October 10th, 2019

For European rapeseed farmers, honey bees buzzing around fields may outweigh the benefits of using pesticides to fight insect damage, French researchers said.

A four-year survey in France found higher yields and profits for rapeseed fields where there’s an abundance of pollinating insects, according to a study by agricultural researcher INRA and the …

The human health benefits from GM crops

September 26th, 2019 / Plant Biotechnology Journal

The Human Health Benefits from GM CropsGenetically modified (GM) crops represent the most rapidly adopted technology in the history of agriculture, having now reached twenty-five years of commercial production. Grown by millions of farmers, many in developing countries, the technology is providing significant economic and environmental benefits, such as reductions …

Microorganisms could help rid soil of lingering pesticides

August 16th, 2019

Pesticides have been widely used after the Second World War in management of weeds, diseases and pests of plants. Most of these have persistent nature and cause serious environmental concerns. They can be managed only through the biological agents for remediation of agricultural soils. The crop fields are normally over …

How do organic pesticides compare to conventional pesticides?

January 31st, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Many consumers choose to buy higher-priced organic produce because they believe organic foods are not grown using pesticides and therefore are healthier for humans and for the environment. However, organic farming can include any pesticides derived from natural sources. This distinction does not mean organic pesticides are necessarily less toxic than …

An unexpected culprit might have caused France’s mass honey bee die-off in the 1990s

December 12th, 2018 / IFL Science

The honey bees of the French countryside suffered a catastrophic die-off between 1994 and 1998. Unsurprisingly, the mass mortalities coincided with the introduction of several new-to-the-market agricultural insecticides. Environmentalists and farmers were quick to point the finger at one in particular: imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid produced primarily by the pharmaceutical giant …

How mobile phones are helping farmers grow bigger harvests

November 28th, 2018 / Gates Notes

Philanthropist Bill Gates writes:
Whenever I travel to rural parts of the world, the farmers I meet talk about one thing that holds them back: they can’t save their money.
They don’t mean they spend more than they earn. They mean that, literally, they don’t have a safe place to put their …

Pesticides: what we ought to know

October 8th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Pests are a big nuisance to farmers because, among other things, they reduce crop production.
To overcome the problem, farmers often resort to buying pesticides which are poisonous chemicals manufactured to kill the pests. They may be dusted or sprayed on the crop to prevent pest attack.
The …